This post was originally posted on March 19, 2009 at Hoyden About Town.
New Scientist this week published an interview with infamous psychiatrist Simon Wessely. Wessely persists in believing, in the face of all the evidence, that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalitis (CFS/ME)* is a uniquely UK/American psychological condition caused by internet-triggered “faulty illness beliefs”.
Here’s a bit. Read the rest at the link.
Can people think themselves sick? This is what psychiatrist Simon Wessely explores. His research into the causes of conditions like chronic fatigue syndrome and Gulf war syndrome has led to hate mail, yet far from dismissing these illnesses as imaginary, Wessely has spent his career developing treatments for them. Clare Wilson asks what it’s like to be disliked by people you’re trying to help.
How might most of us experience the effects of the mind on the body?
In an average week you probably experience numerous examples of how what’s going on around you affects your subjective health. Most people instinctively know that when bad things happen, they affect your body. You can’t sleep, you feel anxious, you’ve got butterflies in your stomach… you feel awful.
When does that turn into an illness?
Such symptoms only become a problem when people get trapped in excessively narrow explanations for illness – when they exclude any broader consideration of the many reasons why we feel the way we do. This is where the internet can do real harm. And sometimes people fall into the hands of charlatans who give them bogus explanations. […]